How to Sauté Greens

Leafy Greens are great for you. If you don’t have much experience with cooking, don’t let them intimidate you. A simple sauté is an easy way to cook them. In this post I’m going to show you how to sauté swiss chard. You are going to need one bunch of chard, 1/4 cup of cooking oil (sesame, sunflower, or coconut are good choices), salt, a long knife,  a frying pan, and a pair of tongs or utensil to flip/stir your greens. I also throw in a clove of garlic using my garlic press, but that is an optional step.

swiss chard

First rinse off your greens to remove any dirt that may have tried to hitch a ride.


chopped chard

Now we are going to prep the greens. Cut off and discard an inch to inch and a half of the end of your stems. Start chopping the stems up into small pieces, about a quarter of an inch but no need to be overly precise. Once you get to the green leafy parts cut them into strips approximately an inch and a half wide. Do two perpendicular cuts to cut your strips into thirds.

Next heat your 1/4 cup of oil up in the pan. Once it’s been warming for a minute or two add your chopped chard.  Top that with a generous amount of salt.


add garlic to greensThis next step is optional, so if you don’t like garlic go ahead and omit it.  Peel a garlic clove and put it in your garlic press.  Scrape the crushed garlic into the pan.  If you don’t have a garlic press you can mince, or really finely chop, the garlic. I love my garlic press because it makes the process much faster and garlic much smaller.

Frequently flip and stir the greens or the bottom pieces of chard will turn into char.


sauteed grrens finished

When it is wilted and the stems have lost their crunch it’s done.  Serve immediately.  In my personal opinion if you let greens get luke warm they feel slimy and much less appetizing.

You can use this method for other greens, the only variation will be how you prepare them. Baby spinach only needs rinsed and it’s ready to cook.  Be aware that spinach reduces in volume more than chard so you’ll need more of it to make a serving. Kale has a very fibrous stem, so you’ll want to rip the greens off of the main central vein. Then rip it into pieces and continue as with the chard.

Now you know how to sauté greens.  What other methods of cooking them do you use?  Are there any other tutorials you would find useful?


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